Lifestyle

Cigar Review

Caldwell Collection, The King is Dead Premier Dominican Republic                       5.5” x 50                            Medium                       93-Rated The chocolatey look. The solid roll. The pre-light aroma. Each of these is perfect, setting high expectations before flame meets cigar. […]

Caldwell Collection, The King is
Dead
Premier
Dominican Republic                       5.5” x 50                            Medium                       93-Rated
The chocolatey look. The solid roll. The pre-light aroma. Each of these is perfect, setting high expectations before flame meets cigar. Upon lighting, two things are apparent. Each of the 5 Dominican tobaccos used to create this cigar are of superior quality, and the cigar has been extensively aged post-roll. Every draw from this slow-burning Robusto produces a warm bouquet, complete with toast, earth and milk chocolate. The finish is long yet subtle, completing a luxurious display of balanced, smooth flavors.
Drew Estate, Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig
Nicaragua                            6.0” x 54                          Medium-Full             93-Rated

Shaped like a Blackhawk Torpedo Bomb, this Drew Estate creation sports an oily sungrown wrapper from Ecuador and aged long-fillers from Nicaraguan bound by a Connecticut Habano leaf. The smoke is flavorful and complex, offering dense hints of leather, oak and earth complemented by bright hints of spice. A unique sweet and savory nuance lingers from time to time, which I can only describe as cinnamon. This Flying Pig is complex and burns incredibly slow despite its short stature.

Padilla, Finest Hour Connecticut Toro
Honduras        6.0” x 52                               Mellow-Medium                        91-Rated

This 52-ring Toro is perfectly rolled, solid from head to toe and boasts an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper that’s silky and smooth to the touch. Underneath, two Nicaraguan binders secure a vintage mixture of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers. The bouquet is rich yet mellow, layered by sweet cedar and creamed coffee and finished by a long, toasty aftertaste. A fine fit for anytime enjoyment. No bells, whistles, twists or turns. Just smooth, buttery, soothing and tasty to the nub.

Puros, Indios Bronco
Honduras                    6.5” x 56                               Medium-Full                         92-Rated

I have always loved this classic cigar. Born by the hands of a legend, the late Rolanda Reyes, Sr., Puros Indios is as Cuban-esque and rustic as it gets. Cuban-seed Honduran long-leaf tobaccos reside within a leathery Ecuador Sumatra wrapper to create a rich and chewy smoke. Each draw exhibits rich earth and rich tobacco. A touch of coffee surfaces from time to time, while a subtle zest is constant throughout the burn. Better still, the raw, Cuban twang that’s present from start to finish…deliciously oldschool.

Rocky Patel, Vintage 1979 Churchill
Honduras                     7.0” x 48                               Medium                       95-Rated

Savor this cigar – enjoying a genuine African Cameroon wrapper leaf cultivated anywhere close to 1979 is a rare treat. Underneath this toothy, milk chocolate-hued wrapper, long-fillers from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican combine to deliver an exquisite series of earth, sweet cedar, rich tobacco and gentle spices. The wrappers’ natural sweetness completes each savory puff, offering a touch of toasted peanut on the finish.

Share This:

2019-fun-mini-vacations

Fun Mini-Vacations Where No Passports Are Needed!

Whether you are planning bachelorette or bachelor vacation or simply looking for a fun mini-vacation with friends, there are several fabulous destinations right here in the US to consider. Here are the top 5 locations, touted as the USA’s best cities for a good time and no passport required! 1: Nashville: Even if you are […]

Whether you are planning bachelorette or bachelor vacation or simply looking for a fun mini-vacation with friends, there are several fabulous destinations right here in the US to consider. Here are the top 5 locations, touted as the USA’s best cities for a good time and no passport required!

1: Nashville: Even if you are not a fan of country music, this Tennessee city is the perfect location for southern charm, outstanding barbeque and pub crawls.  They call this city the “Broadway of the south” because there are shows, live music, and night clubs.  It’s also fun to put on a cowboy hat and ride a mechanical bull before you go line dancing.

Nashville

 

2:  South Beach, Miami: Want to stay in the US but love a gorgeous beach and want some nightlife too?  South Beach Miami is the ideal location for a tropical party spot.  With sleek and trendy hotels and an amazing night scene, you can spend your days sitting on the beach and your night’s club hopping on Collins Avenue.

miami-beach

 

3: New Orleans, Louisiana:  The Big Easy has always been known for a crazy party scene during Mardi Gras, but it is also a fabulous place to celebrate your last single days throughout the year.  The art and culture scene, as well as a live Jazz show,  and partake in the best Creole and Cajun cuisine.  For a fun mix, you can explore the Mississippi on riverboat cruise during the day and walk Bourbon Street at night.

new-orleans

 

4:  Napa Valley:  Interested in a more reserved destination?  Amazing wine and a stunning backdrop make Napa Valley a popular location for any bachelorette/bachelor party.  With numerous wineries and some of the best spas in the country, it is easy to stay at a B & B, sample wine, take in a spa treatment and eat top restaurants!  For more adventure, hot air balloon rides provide stunning views of the vineyards!

Napa Valley California Wine Country Vineyard Field Harvest for Winery

 

5:   Puerto Rico:    Looking for the Caribbean but don’t want the hassle of having to get a passport?  Puerto Rico is the ideal Caribbean location because as a US territory it doesn’t require a passport.  With daytime activities like surfing, kayaking, hiking the rain forests and walking the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, those who want more than sun/beach can be as active or adventurous as they wish.  Plus there are plenty of salsa clubs, hip bars, and casinos to party the night away.

puerto-rico

 

Share This:

2019-off-the-rack

Off the Rack VS. Custom Clothing

Shopping for clothes is something most people do not even like to think about. People dread things such as: finding the right store, getting the proper fit, finding quality garments that last or even just finding the time to go shopping. Fortunately for the consumer, there is more than one way to shop. The clothing […]

Shopping for clothes is something most people do not even like to think about. People dread things such as: finding the right store, getting the proper fit, finding quality garments that last or even just finding the time to go shopping. Fortunately for the consumer, there is more than one way to shop. The clothing you desire can be purchased multiple ways: conveniently off the rack at a retail store, or with the help of a custom clothier.

Retail stores carry ready-made garments to fit the masses. The clothes are made in standard sizing such as: 40 regular or 38 long. The biggest benefit to buying in this common way is that the turnaround time is quick. You could be in and out of any store in just a few minutes with a new shirt, trouser, or jacket. However, it often leaves the consumer with an added step to the buying experience. That step is having to take your new garments to a tailor to get alterations. Since many don’t even like to shop; the process of going to fight mall traffic on the weekend and going into a crowded store only to find they have a limited selection in your size is unappealing at best. For the select group of people that take special care in finding what they are looking for, off the rack shopping may not be for them.

Another way of shopping for clothing is through a custom clothier. When you purchase custom clothing, you are first and foremost dealing with a trained professional. Your clothier is an expert in all things clothing. They are trained to measure you properly, provide you with a proper fit, help you pick out the best fabrics for your lifestyle, and mix and match patterns and colors. Custom clothing is specially made for an individual based upon a pattern that is created for you based on a series of measurements.

The biggest benefit that clients see from custom clothing is the convenience. Your clothier will come to your home or office at a time that is best for you. In a first time meeting, it typically takes just 40 minutes to get measurements, pick your fabrics, and style your garments to your liking. However, the turnaround time is longer than your traditional off the rack buying process. It takes 6-8 weeks for your clothes to be ordered, crafted, and delivered to your door. When you receive your clothes, your clothier will conduct a proper fitting to make sure you are 100% satisfied with the quality, and fit of the garments. If there are any alterations, they are taken care of, and your pattern is adjusted for future purchases. Once your pattern has been established, ordering custom can be as simple as making a phone call or writing an email.

Custom clothing is not perfect; but it is higher quality, one of a kind garment, made just for you. It gives you the proper fit and personalized customer service along with it. There is a much larger selection when shopping this way. Companies like the Tom James Company, offer different tiers of clothing options that compete with retail store prices. You are able to get any type of fabric, pattern or color fitted just to your liking. Everyone has different preferences in clothing and shopping, and custom allows the process to be individualized to the consumer.

There are benefits to buying off the rack and buying custom clothing. To make the best decision on what is right for you, think about these questions: Do you enjoy shopping? Do you have time to go to the store? Does everything fit you properly off the rack? Do you find everything you are looking for in the store? Does your clothing say what you want it to say about you? If you answered yes to those questions, sticking with buying off the rack may be your best decision. However, if you answered no; it may be time to contact your local clothier, and experience the luxury of custom clothing.

Share This:

truffles-in-italy

Autumn in Italy Offers a Bounty of Truffles

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Italy, especially the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October.   The weather is perfect, the crowds have dwindled, and the harvest showcases Italy’s culinary delights.  Fall festivals abound throughout Italy honoring grapes, olives, chestnuts, mushrooms, and the pricy truffle. Truffles have been a […]

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Italy, especially the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October.   The weather is perfect, the crowds have dwindled, and the harvest showcases Italy’s culinary delights.  Fall festivals abound throughout Italy honoring grapes, olives, chestnuts, mushrooms, and the pricy truffle.

Truffles have been a delicacy for thousands of years.  There are references by Greek and Roman philosophers as well as in ancient Egyptian writings.   Tartufo, in Italian, is a fungus found growing near the roots of certain trees.  Its enticing aromas and earthy flavor, along with the fact that it has not been cultivated since the late 1800s makes it one of the most coveted foods in the world.

There are a handful of truffle varieties making them available most of the year.  The Italian white truffle is the most expensive and aromatic, prevalent in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy, the most well-known truffle heralding from the area around the city of  Alba where the International Truffle Festival is held every. Their season lasts from October to December, and every restaurant and home will be serving freshly shaved white truffles over Tajarin, local egg pasta.  Next, to being invited into a hunters home, we highly recommend you head off to  Ristorante La Pina for this delectable dish served only during the truffle season.  [Piazza Risorgimento, 4 Alba  phone  +39 0173 442800 http://www.lapiola-alba.it/en/]

The Italian Black truffle, known as the Perigord, is the cherished truffle located in Umbra and available from October through early January. It makes sense that it is also home to Urbani, the world supplier for this prized delicacy. [Santa’Anatolia di Narco, http://urbanitartufi.it/en/]   Their truffle museum is worth a trip, but if you can’t make it to Umbria this fall, Urbani has opened a test kitchen and tasting room in Manhattan, called Truffle Lab NYC.  Here you can enjoy truffle dinners or partake in cooking classes taught by world-renowned chefs.  Or just stop in for the freshest Italian truffles flown in daily from Umbria.  [10 West End Ave, NY NY 10023   www.urbani.com]
The Italian Summer Truffle is more readily available and in season from March through November. It is found in throughout most parts of Tuscany and the region of Le Marche.   Papavero Villa Rentals has many properties in the picturesque area called Le Crete  – the heart of the Siena province countryside. We arrange a wonderful day hunting the white truffle of Le Crete Senesi,  the Marzulo and third known simply as the black summer truffle.  Each has its own season allowing a truffle hunt throughout the tourist season.   You will join a local villager and his trained dog through the woods in search of this delicacy followed with lunch in a trattoria or even his own home accompanied by the famous Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  Before the hunt,  if time allows, you will tour the small truffle museum in San Giovanni, a quaint medieval village set among the forests that provide the white truffles. Every person in the area hunts for truffles for their own table, but since they last at most four days, they sell the overflow to agents hired by prestigious restaurants around the world.   They say that if you put an Alba white truffle next to theirs, you cannot tell the difference.

 

If you prefer to hunt for fresh truffles in comfort, here are some of Italy’s 2017 Truffle Festivals

PIEDMONT

ALBA  –  Alba’s white truffle fair and market is one of the best and worth a special trip.  The event runs from this year from October 7 to 26th November with gastronomic stands and ends with the truffle world auction and the white truffle walk for tourists.  During the fair, there are concerts and lots of entertainment as well.  The week before leads up to this event with the famous donkey Palio and the chef contest; the finalist will then enter the world’s most prestigious cooking contest the Bocouse d’ Or in France next January.   http://www.fieradeltartufo.org/

MONCALVO –  this year will be held from the 22nd through the 29th Ocboter.  Located among the picturesque area of Monferrato with stoic castles, panoramic landscapes, and quaint villages. Moncalvo will be celebrating with truffle tastings and dinners leading up to the auction on the last day.

 

TUSCANY

San Giovanni d’Asso  – second and third weekends in November

Volterra –  Last weekend in October and the first weekend in November

San Miniato ( Florence Province) Last weekend in October and the first weekend in November

Corazzano, San Miniato  ( Florence Province) the first  Sunday in October

Balconevisi, San Miniato ( Florence Province) the third Sunday in October

Montespertoli ( Siena Province) Third weekend in November

Borgo San Lorenzo, Mugello ( Florence Province) third weekend in November

Montaione ( Siena Province) Last weekend in October

Arezzo ( Arezzo Provoince) first weekend in October

Share This:

playing-golf

Playing Golf Has Never Been Better

With more golf courses in America than there are McDonald’s (15,000 vs. 14,000), there is a reason why so many golf courses exist in America. Whether you play golf or not, most people at one point in time wanted to try it; and people who play wish they played more.  There are many reasons to […]

With more golf courses in America than there are McDonald’s (15,000 vs. 14,000), there is a reason why so many golf courses exist in America. Whether you play golf or not, most people at one point in time wanted to try it; and people who play wish they played more.  There are many reasons to value golf but here are some highlights for those who always wanted to learn or needed a reminder.

Exercise – The average golfer burns 1,442 calories playing golf while walking. If they take a golf cart, they burn 822 calories.  A Swedish Study concluded that golfers lived five years longer than non-golfers (although nearly all golfers in Sweden walk.) Everyone wants to be healthier, so what better way to get exercise than while playing the game of golf. Sure, beats running on a treadmill in my opinion.

Outdoor Benefits – Being outside has been shown to lower blood pressure (although missing an 18-inch putt may reverse that), improve your ability to focus, help fight anxiety, eliminate fatigue, reduce inflammation, improve short-term memory and demonstrate a de-stressing effect.

Fundraising – Do you know an organization that needs an extra $2,000 or $100,000 this year? Golf courses can help. In 2016 golf raised $3.9 BILLION and since 2012 it has raised over $20 Billion in money for charities. In 2016 each charity event nationwide averaged $26,400 for the cause. No matter what size organization you are, golf courses can help you raise money for a great cause, or by simply playing in one of their events, you can help a charity succeed in their mission.

Business – Want a senior management position? You should strongly consider playing golf because executives who play golf make 17% more than those who don’t. 54% of business professionals see golf as the perfect networking tool. An estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf and 50% of golfers agreed to the statement, “the way a person plays golf is very similar to how he or she conducts business affairs.”

Why is golf good for business? Because golf:

  1. Provides access to an environment where business deals are done
  2. Challenges people to go beyond their comfort zone for personal enrichment
  3. Instills confidence both on and off the course
  4. Gives insight on how to read others
  5. Offers you a sneak peek into the integrity and ethics of your golf partners
  6. And most important…lets you open up and have fun!

Fun – What do you do for fun with friends, colleagues, and family? Some people play golf for the business reasons listed above, and some play with a group of friends they may not see if it wasn’t for that annual event. Some play with their brothers, sisters, parents, children, and relatives. Golf provides an opportunity to bond and create memories that last a lifetime.

There are also many other reasons people play golf. Some like competitive events and some just like to relax and have a few drinks. The best part is you don’t have to be good at the sport to have fun and enjoy all the benefits.

Sources:

http://www.appraisers.org/docs/default-source/discipline_rp/golf-courses-an-ever-changing-challenge.pdf?sfvrsn=0

https://www.pga.com/play-golf-america/new-golfer/golf-good-business

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spending-more-time-outside-is-healthy-2017-7#walking-in-nature-could-improve-your-short-term-memory-1

http://wearegolf.org/charity/contributions/

https://onpar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/a-little-scientific-research-for-all-those-19th-hole-debates/

Share This:

carnivore-diet-vs-keto

The Carnivore Diet vs. the Keto Diet

So what is all of this buzz around Carnivore vs. Keto? The buzz isn’t that new actually. It can be traced back to its origins in 1923 with Dr. Russell Wilder. He worked with treatments to impact Epilepsy, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Keto relates to his Ketogenic Therapy, which became the Ketogenic Diet, now the Keto […]

So what is all of this buzz around Carnivore vs. Keto? The buzz isn’t that new actually. It can be traced back to its origins in 1923 with Dr. Russell Wilder. He worked with treatments to impact Epilepsy, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Keto relates to his Ketogenic Therapy, which became the Ketogenic Diet, now the Keto Diet. This is well explained at the CharlieFoundation.org

Ketogenic influence has increased in popularity over other buzzes like Paleo since Paleo has become heavily diluted and incorrectly marketed. Many people get them confused due to the marketing and food companies jumping on the bandwagon and trying to make a buck off of the buzz. Many publications are crossing the relationships in a confusing way too. It is okay if you’re confused, after all, the big buzzwords these days now include Keto, Ketogenic, Carnivore, Paleo, Paleolithic, NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Low Carb, LCHF (Low Carb High Fat), and more.

I want to preface the rest of this article by reminding you that each of us are at a different place on the health education timeline. What might be working already for me, might not work for you… just yet. It’s important that people realize that there are short-term vs. long-term decisions here. I.e., fad diets (short) vs. lifestyle choices (long). Legitimate and sustainable healthy lifestyle transformations happen with a proper allotment of time. Choose your steps and changes that will create a sustainable, positive change.

Another quick note on “DIET.” This term has become a bad four-letter word due to marketing turning it into short-term psychological impacts on our mindset. A “LIFESTYLE” change is what you’re really looking for, especially if you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle with daily energy impairment, health problems, medical issues, etc. Committing to healthier lifestyle choices could bring you improved energy, alertness, awareness, stress reduction, and more.

I’ve always been a person living in a somewhat of a Keto Lifestyle, I just didn’t know it. Over the recent years, I had barely eaten bread, so I simply stopped. This allowed me to move and get cleaner into a No Sugar No Grains Lifestyle. I live a pretty ketogenic lifestyle. Meaning, I am more fat-adapted. I’m just not always in a pure state of healthy ketosis. Fat, healthy fats, are your body’s preferred source of long-burning energy.

70% of our diet aka fuel intake, should be roughly centered around healthy fats if you’re looking to live more ketogenic. What are healthy fats? Coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, or even avocado oil are all great sources. Other natural sources of healthy fats include heavy whipping cream, grass-fed butter, half and half, etc. Those dairy-based sources of fat are not overly processed like traditional milk. So their whole fat purity reigns supreme. When you cut the fat, you’re left with lactose aka milk sugars.

Now whether we’re talking Paleo, Keto, or Carnivore, it’s important to remind ourselves to try and source our food aka fuel as clean as possible. So finding grass fed, chemical free, hormone free, etc. will help us reduce our daily toxic exposure. Unfortunately, not all food companies have to clarify this on their labels. So if you can source whole food solutions from farms and markets you know care about this, then you’re winning. Fun note, a chemical-free muffin is still a muffin and is not Keto, it’s converted to an unhealthy sugar bomb.

Now let’s help clarify the simplicity of a Carnivore. Carnivores are actually simply focusing on wild game, red meat sources, and then beef as the foundation if those aren’t available. These red meat sources are actually super rich in minerals and vitamins overtop of other meats like chicken or turkey. An excellent reference on this would be Dr. Shawn Baker MD of the Carnivore Training System at Shawn-Baker.com. I also recommend checking out Dr. Anthony Jay Ph.D. of AJConsultingCompany.com. He is starting the first 100% Carnivore Study, to analyze the impacts of a 100% red meat lifestyle for 90 days. He’ll be measuring the before and after effects on the length of our Telomeres of our DNA which determine aging.

So are you Keto, Carnivore, or Paleo? I can only dive so deep in this short article. The most important thing we can take away is that we need to get back to our roots, away from manufactured “food,” and start finding the healthy lifestyle choices to improve our lives. Yes, I live a marriage of Paleo / Keto / Carnivore / NSNG / LCHF lifestyles. So I’m not 100% Carnivore since I’m currently consuming avocados, pasture-raised eggs, bacon, and lots of red meat, other well-sourced Keto-friendly products.

It takes 28 days to build a habit, it takes 30 days to prove you can implement potentially sustainable actions to a healthier lifestyle. To tell you the truth, be prepared at 90 days, but actually, 120 days to establish a legitimately sustainable body and lifestyle transformation.

So take your health seriously my friend and give yourself time to commit and to see these transitions happen. So you could read these benefits for years to come.

 


 

Disclaimer… The information provided above is my own research, opinions, and experiences. Scott Mulvaney (LIVETHEFUEL) is not liable for any personal decisions. Please always consult a professional doctor when appropriate, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Share This:

100 Years Young: Four Ways to Keep Your Company Young for Years to Come

When it comes to staying “young” as a company, it may seem counterintuitive to learn from companies that have been in business for a long time. However, by looking closely at the best practices of seasoned businesses, you’ll find what often makes them successful is consistent adherence to a core set of best practices. Following […]

When it comes to staying “young” as a company, it may seem counterintuitive to learn from companies that have been in business for a long time. However, by looking closely at the best practices of seasoned businesses, you’ll find what often makes them successful is consistent adherence to a core set of best practices. Following are a few ways you can make sure your business stays current and on the right track.

  1. Investing in Technology and R&D

Prioritizing investments in technology and R&D for innovation can have many benefits. First among these is helping your customers solve their greatest challenges. Customers value the ability to voice their opinions, and by integrating customer feedback into new product development efforts, your organization will be better positioned to sustain long-term customer satisfaction, loyalty, and valuable relationships.

Fostering a mindset of continuous improvement allows employees to identify areas of opportunity for innovation. Equip employees with top technologies and resources, enabling them to enhance your company’s processes and efficiencies.

Overall, your company will remain successful in introducing disruptive products and services when you offer key differentiators and unique value that clearly separate you from the competition. Connecting your brand and offerings with current topics, technologies and trends help your company remain relevant.

  1. Attracting / Retaining Talent

Employees are your company’s biggest asset and showing them you care will help you more successfully attract and retain top talent. Committing to, and valuing, ongoing professional development ensures your employees are up-to-date on knowledge and skills training and are engaged. Consider tuition reimbursement for continued education, encouraging your employees to dream big and simultaneously achieve professional and educational goals.

Show you care about employee well-being on and off the clock with a health and wellness program – and experience increased employee efficiency and productivity. A Quantum Workplace report showed that when employees believe their employer cares about their health and well-being, they are 38% more engaged, 28% more likely to recommend their workplace, and 18% more likely to go the extra mile for the organization.

Maintain a talent pipeline with a healthy internship program. When you give fresh minds insight into your business and your challenges, you gain their energy, ideas, and insight into potential future hiring opportunities.

  1. Keeping Focus on Customer Engagement

Customer engagement should be a priority across your entire organization, with everyone following the same true north. This can and should be achieved year-round by getting to know your customers better, actively listening to them, constantly asking questions and knowledgeably answering their questions. A customer event can be a great way to achieve these objectives and integrate with your overarching product strategy by soliciting invaluable feedback. Being customer-centric energizes employees when they understand the linkage between their job and the real end goal of the business—to serve customers.

Training presents another important opportunity for customer engagement, while potentially providing solutions to help customers address skills gaps. Education can and should be delivered in many forms—from manuals and hands-on classes to online and self-help—to meet the needs of diverse learners.

  1. Encouraging Diversity of Thought

Ideas can come from anywhere. However, by consciously cultivating diversity of thought, you can stimulate creativity. This can be done in a variety of ways. For example, consider different cultures, backgrounds, and personalities for new hires and develop collaborative, diverse project teams to contribute to new ideas and solutions.

This can also be done via reverse mentorship. Given the growth in technology, younger workers can teach mature employees new ways to solve problems and use the latest and greatest technology.

Finally, creating an environment where employees can be themselves will allow for thought diversity. It starts on the individual level before it is a culture. Visible leadership enhances this. Available, authentic executives who engage with employees at all levels helps create a culture of trust and respect while enhancing communication and collaboration.

 


 

Eric B. Luftig is a Vice President at Victaulic, which is celebrating 100 Years of Innovation in 2019. He leads a global team across a variety of departments and areas of focus. Eric is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Chemical Engineering and has a broad professional background having been in a variety of operational and commercial leadership roles.

Share This:

Cigar Review

601 White Connecticut Churchill Nicaragua                             7.0” x 502                             Medium                       93-Rated One word comes to mind when I hold this cigar: beautiful. The chestnut-hued Ecuador Connecticut wrapper is flawless and fitted with a […]

601 White Connecticut Churchill
Nicaragua                             7.0” x 502                             Medium                       93-Rated
One word comes to mind when I hold this cigar: beautiful. The chestnut-hued Ecuador Connecticut wrapper is flawless and fitted with a triple-cap, in true Cuban form. The cigar is perfectly rolled, solid from head to toe and sits heavy in the hand. Then there’s the flavor, a rich bevy of wood and cream, complemented by nuts and a touch of sweetness from the wrapper. The Churchill burns slow and cool, offering a buttery-smooth bouquet from start to finish.
Bugatti Ambassador Toro
Dominican Republic                            6.0” x 54                          Medium             91-Rated

An oily Habano wrapper from Ecuador blankets this Toro from Bugatti, hugging a 4-country blend of tobaccos from the Dominican, Nicaragua, Brazil and the United States (Pennsylvania). The superior balance in flavor leads me to believe each leaf has been aged significantly, followed by an extensive post-roll nap. The smoke is thick and creamy, imparting a rich core of flavors. I get sweet oak and cashew, just before a pleasant spice lingers after each puff

Henry Clay Limited Edition 2018 Perfecto
Honduras        5.75” x 52                               Medium-Full                        93-Rated

Disclaimer: This is not your grandaddy’s Henry Clay. Not by a longshot. The Perfecto shape is perfectly sculpted, exhibiting a complex yet balanced flavor and profile throughout. The Habano 2000 wrapper offers a rustic, earthy nuance reminiscent of Cuban cigars, just before its long-leaf mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos coat the palate with roasted espresso bean, toasted cedar and sweet cream. I’d consider this cigar medium in body, but many will find it to be medium to full.

Hoyo La Amistad Silver Pancho
Nicaragua                    5.5” x 52                               Full                         94-Rated

This cigar had me at AJ Fernandez. I personally love his cigars, and Hoyo La Amistad Silver is no different. I’ve had about a dozen since it arrived, and find the Pancho to be my favorite vitola. The Ecuador wrapper is rich and hearty. The Nicaraguan blend of long-fillers is equally rich – Esteli leaves imparting a dense core of cocoa, coffee and spice, and Condega leaves offering a gentle sweetness and wonderful aroma. Lots of flavor, with a full-bodied profile to match.

RoMa Craft CroMagnon Aquitaine EMH Robusto Extra
Nicaragua                     5.0” x 56                               Full                       92-Rated

Easily the most complex cigar in the bunch, this 56-ring Robusto dishes out a hefty dose of spice throughout the burn thanks to a bold ligero wrapper grown from Habano seeds. Underneath, a Cameroon wrapper offers a slight nutty influence, while securing 3 different Nicaraguan long-fillers. During the burn, the cigar gradually grows stronger, hitting the full-bodied range while dishing out notable hints of white pepper, earth, leather and sweet cedar. Satisfying.

Share This:

The Manhattan Project: Making the Manhattan Great Again

So, in our first foray into the world of spirits and cocktails, we visited the haciendas of Mexico to talk about the origins of one of our favorite happy hour drinks; the margarita. In our next installment in the history of spirits and cocktails, we now visit the oldest vermouth driven cocktail: The Manhattan. There […]

So, in our first foray into the world of spirits and cocktails, we visited the haciendas of Mexico to talk about the origins of one of our favorite happy hour drinks; the margarita. In our next installment in the history of spirits and cocktails, we now visit the oldest vermouth driven cocktail: The Manhattan.

There is no doubt the Manhattan originated in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and I’ll let your imagination run wild in guessing which one. But once again, we have a contentious origin story for the great American classic that has seen a boom in popularity in recent decades.

Some historians point to Jennie Jerome, the famous Lady Churchill (mother of Sir Winston Churchill) as someone who helped create the iconic drink. Some will say in 1874 during a party thrown for then-presidential hopeful Samuel J Tibbet at the Manhattan club, that this masterful pairing of Rye whiskey, vermouth, and aromatic bitters was created. Heck, many history books will attest to this as being fact. However; David Wondrich per Imbibe! Magazine and notable author in cocktail history disputes this as fact.

According to Wondrich, during that time period, Lady Churchill was in England about to give birth to the great Sir Winston Churchill instead of galavanting at cocktail dinners trying to raise money for a presidential candidate. Instead, Wondrich points to William F. Mulhall; a bartender at the famed Hoffman House who applied his trade as a bartender for over thirty years as being someone who has the secret to the origins of this particular cocktail. According to Mulhall, a man who went by the name of “Black” (yes, that’s it) “who kept a place ten doors below Houston Street on Broadway in the 1860’s.”

Regardless of the origin of this American classic, it predates any vermouth driven cocktails such as the Martini (YES, A PROPER MARTINI GETS VERMOUTH PEOPLE!), Martinez or Rob Roy. Alas, I digress. Another point of contention amongst bar aficionados is the proportions for a Manhattan in and of itself. Some will go the 2 ½ ounces to ¾ ounce vermouth ratio. Some prefer a Canadian blended whiskey with little to no vermouth and no bitters. My standard recipe for a Manhattan is as follows:

  • 2 ounces of Bourbon or Rye Whiskey (I prefer Rittenhouse 100 proof Rye made in Maryland)
  • 1 ounce of Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica is without a doubt my favorite.)
  • 3 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters.

 

Add all three ingredients to a glass filled with ice and stir – never shake a drink with no citrus as it bruises the booze – and garnish with an orange twist (unless you have proper brandied cherries, no maraschinos in my bar please.)

Before I go onto some variations in the cocktail, let’s again take a look back through history to understand how certain variations and taste profiles have come to be.

During prohibition, we as Americans obviously could not make (unless for medicinal purposes) any alcohol to be sold or consumed in the United States. That lead to backyard stills and sub-par alcohol. So, people looked to Canada as one of the leading exporters of actual distilled alcohol that helped add the authentic flavor that people were used to. So as that generation and the next came of drinking age, more and more Canadian whiskey was drank. Due to its charcoal filtered finish, it doesn’t have the same “bite” in the finish as traditional American bourbon or Rye whiskey. Hence the need for less vermouth and not so much with the bitters. Baby boomers and some of their children still prefer our northern cousin for a Manhattan due to its easy drinkability. Being the traditionalist that I am and having a slight penchant for harsher undertones that to me provide more character and depth to the cocktail, prefer the American standard of bourbon or rye.

With all of this being said, the Manhattan cocktail is one that bartenders of the modern era love to re-create with the abundance of spirits that are available on the back bar of institutions with a serious drive for complexity. With the reemergence of Amaros, Amaris, and vermouth in particular; there are so many layers of flavor that can be added to the drink itself. With a deft hand and understanding of the spirits themselves and how they blend together, different combinations and variations are able to be re-created. Here is my latest, softer and summer themed Manhattan recipe deftly named: Making Manhattan Great Again.

  • 2 ounces of Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • ½ ounce of Averna Amaro (probably the most accessible amaro in Pennsylvania)
  • ½ ounce Luxardo Apricot liqueur
  • 2 dashes of Orange bitters (Regan’s number 9 is my favorite)
  • Garnished with an orange twist

 

Until the next installment of cocktails in Network Magazine, I hope you all continue to drink fresh ingredients, buy local, and always trust a good bartender!

Cheers!

Share This:

Scott_Mulvaney-livethefuel.com

Your Inner Circle of Health

I wanted to target this article around your circle of trust or in this case your circle of healthy influencers or lack thereof. Take a moment and think about who is in your inner circle that influences nutrition, exercise, and fitness in general. Ask yourself who you allow to remain in your inner circle that […]

I wanted to target this article around your circle of trust or in this case your circle of healthy influencers or lack thereof. Take a moment and think about who is in your inner circle that influences nutrition, exercise, and fitness in general. Ask yourself who you allow to remain in your inner circle that also influences your daily lifestyle.

I think many of us underestimate the power of our closest influencers. I’m reminded of that today as I write this. We have just finished two weeks working with my inner circle of biking enthusiasts to track down an adult size tricycle bike. A very good friend of ours is a special education teacher. She also specializes in working with autistic children. She had recently reached out because she was going to go buy an adult tricycle and was looking for sponsors or supporters for her therapy work. Once we heard about her goals, we couldn’t let her buy a low-quality bike from Walmart. As a huge biking nut, this will not do. Now that being said, tracking down a bike of this type became a bit of a project and I was quite busy. However, I had a good friend of mine who happens to really geek out and loves to track down bikes that are in amazing condition. He basically flips them or repurposes those bikes as a little fun yet entrepreneurial side hustle.

Building a network or in this case, an inner circle of healthy and trustworthy people ensured that we got to pull together something with a positive benefit for others. I’m telling you this story to help provide an impact on the importance of that inner circle of influence. Many of us underestimate this, so before I continue on, I’ll reference one of my favorite Jim Rohn quotes: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I’m truly inspired by people in general who choose to help kids and adults for that matter, living with autism. Helping to enable kids with balance issues to ride a bike is something I never thought about. I’m hoping this inspires you to really think about who is in your inner circle of trust. I’ve referenced positive results but let’s really take the time to think about who is negatively impacting your daily goals, your weekly goals, and your monthly goals. These are important topics to consider when it comes to your health, fitness and your overall lifestyle. Ask yourself what changes must be taken to improve your life. Many of us keep making excuses that are fueled by the people around us. Many of you may justify your sedentary lifestyles because of your busy careers, businesses, or the feedback from other sedentary friends/family.

We all have plenty of things to distract us, we all have plenty of opportunities to become sedentary, or justify our unfortunate unhealthy choices. Let’s be honest; it is not always your business, your job, or careers. I’ll be the first one to tell you that’s all BS because I was there once. That is your own internal psychology and possibly the bleed-over of negative influence from your inner circle that influences your actions daily.

So please really take the time to look at who is influencing your daily, weekly, and even monthly lifestyle. If these people are not helping promote positive change, you need to change that time management. This is a hard decision for many people. Psychologically, it is crucial that you start changing the people you surround yourself with. This is a must to create massive and sustainable positive change in your life. Whether it be your nutritional practices, physical education, or overall health practices, all of these things can be influenced by the people you spend the most time with.

You don’t need to change everybody you spend the most time with but start looking at those core people. Then look outside your normal inner circle and see other people that you could be spending more time with. People that will help promote and support your healthy mutual goals. Then get to work because as I already said, it’s not going to be easy, you will have struggles, and yes, it will be awkward. The most impactful changes in our life come from hard decisions.

Most people who struggle to support your healthy changes, because they themselves, are afraid to create them. If they see you taking those positive steps that used to scare them, they may hopefully want to make the same changes themselves and want back into your “Inner Circle of Health.”

Share This: